Get Competitive: Unmetric at SMW14

We love working with emerging brands, especially ones that are filling a great need for others. So, when we heard about Unmetric, we were intrigued. Then, when we saw their product, it was love. Not only do they show off some pretty things, they also really understand how knowing how you compare to your competitors can make you better — like that saying, iron sharpens iron, right? So, we want to ensure you get a chance to know why we’re big fans.

You can join them at Campus February 20th. And in the meantime, we sat down with Lux Narayan, CEO and Co-founder of Unmetric. Hear what he has to say:

  1. The analytics space is a bit crowded; how did your team see the need for Unmetric and how did it evolve?
    At first glance, the ecosystem is unexplainably crowded. But dive deeper and there are some interesting patterns. Brand marketing teams have always employed three distinct tool-kits to plan and execute campaigns:

    The first of these is one that conveys the pulse of the consumer — while it was syndicated awareness studies in a mass media world, this took on the form of ‘listening’ or ‘online reputation management’ on social media. Radian 6 probably best symbolizes this sub-space, and this is also where you’ll find most social analytics companies operating, even today.

    The second sub-space is that of ‘execution’ — of actually having conversations at scale. In the mass media world, this was analogous to media planning and buying platforms that facilitated the execution of marketing campaigns (that were, in effect, monologues from brand to consumer). Social, with its demands for conversation has scale, has paved the way for companies focused on this — like Buddy Media, Vitrue, Sprinklr and Spredfast. There are also companies in the influencer marketing space that operate in the intersection of the listening and engagement sub-spaces.

    There is a third sub-space, one that captures competitive activity. In the world of mass media, this took the form of Share of Voice/Spend/Activity analyses that captured the many monologues brands were having with their consumers. Unmetric is capturing this in a world of dialogue – and we see ourselves different in this focus.

    This was, in fact, the genesis of the idea behind Unmetric, as I had spent many years in mass media planning and buying and saw the opportunity gap described above. For various reasons, we first launched a competitive intel product for small businesses, and it took us a hard but educative year to learn that the problem we were solving for (and the product) was too sophisticated and expensive for a small business’ needs. Around the same time, we saw a lot of interest from large brands and that’s when we decided to, about 3 years ago, pivot to focus on larger brands and their social media presence points.

  2. For a brand that thinks they’re doing well in social media, why would Unmetric take them to the next level?

    For starters, how does a brand determine “well”, “well enough” or “awesome”? That’s a bedrock of what we provide – context to performance parameters. The context comes from a sector of peer brands or a user definable cluster of brands (like, say, luxury automobiles) against which a brand can truly measure if they are indeed doing “well”. Many category leading brands (think Red Bull, Nike, etc), in fact, realize that while they don’t directly compete for dollars with brands outside their sector, they do compete on another currency — attention! As a consequence, we have customers who often choose to set their ‘par for
    the course’ based on affinity matched brands outside their sector.

    On “taking it to the next level” — we help brands take themselves to the next level by arming them with knowledge and actionable insights based on channel benchmarking information, campaign intelligence on what’s working and what’s not, and content intelligence on the successes and misfires of other ‘brand publishers.’

  3. In just 2 years, you’ve worked with some major players, like Toyota, Subway, Lowe’s, MRY, and more. Your team obviously knows how to connect. What advice would you give to starting entrepreneurs for getting their foot in the door?

    Thank you. Yes, we’ve been fortunate to have signed up some amazing names fairly quickly, and I think the reasons for that are three-fold:

    a) An amazing and clearly differentiated product
    I know I’m biased, but our product is truly amazing in what it does, its focus on what it does (well), and in resisting the temptation to do everything. And our customers know and respect that — especially in a landscape that has one too many ‘similar’ solutions. We did not launch Unmetric till we had many things right — it was in ‘internal beta’ for almost 6 months before even exposing it to our first customer.

    b) A ‘different’ sales and business development team
    Our sales team gets it. And they’re no strangers to selling products that are new and require a fair amount of concept evangelism early on in their life-cycle. Right from our head of client development to the team he built thereafter, everyone has sold ‘new concepts’ and brings a sense of unbridled optimism — something that is key when you are selling something for which budget outlays are often not there yet.

    c) Investing in understanding and leveraging the marketing opportunity
    While there’s so much happening out there, we choose to focus on a few opportunities and do them well to embed ourselves into the social marketer ecosystem. Its a case of putting your eggs in fewer baskets. For example, we pick a few great events (like SMW) and do our best with them. It’s the same with our content marketing efforts where we create good, in-depth reports and visual narrative that helps us get the attention of forward thinking marketers and brands.

  4. Your team does a great job of using infographics and presentations to highlight data around special events, like Cyber Monday. Can you share more on your content marketing strategy?

    Thank you. We’re glad you noticed, and that you like them. There are so many interesting things happening around us that provide narrative opportunity. Companies like Mint.com first focused my attention to this, as they (and many others) were experts at visual narrative and leveraging happenings. I realized we’d need a different thinking team for this. So, I spent a lot of time and effort in building out our content marketing team and partners, like an amazing PR agency, and visual designers across the world. We also embraced the distributed nature of talent, so it is quite common to have a story ‘touched’ by people from four cities across three countries. And at this time, the content marketing time has a creative process of sorts that allow them to distill opportunities. In fact, the Unmetric application is part of the process with its ability to identify and highlight outliers and interesting news.

  5. What can our attendees expect to see from Unmetric this February?
    We’re still piecing things together for a great event. We’re working towards an entertaining session with comedian and writer Baratunde Thurston, a fun workshop that’s not a monologue from a vendor, and possibly a HUGE product announcement. The announcement was slotted for March but we’re working around the clock to try and accelerate for February.

    Most importantly, attendees can see many of the Unmetric team – good people to hangout with or grab a coffee or a drink with. But then, I am biased here.

  6. What one piece of advice would you have for brands coming into their own to stand out?
    Bruce Lee said it best when he advised one to be “like water – shapeless, formless…becoming the vessel it is poured in.”

    Sometimes, brands, in their anxiety to be salient in a new conversation economy, focus too much on the medium (Facebook, twitter, etc) and forget to be themselves to start with. As a result, there are ample examples of brands whose social media personas are very dichotomous from their real world personas – and that’s not sustainable in the long run. Everyone’s trying to figure this new world for brands so it is a learning process of sorts. Of course, one piece of advice is to use Unmetric – and greatly short circuit that learning process (sorry, couldn’t resist that product plug).